A Kansas City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court for his role in a conspiracy to commit a series of armed robberies of local businesses in the summer of 2018, as well as an armed robbery in which a convenience store employee was beaten and fatally shot.
Louis Candler, 27, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to 30 years in federal prison without parole.
On May 30, 2023, Candler pleaded guilty to three counts of aiding and abetting a robbery, one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, and one count of aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm during a violent crime.
Candler admitted that he participated in a conspiracy to commit multiple armed robberies from June 1 to July 18, 2018. Candler admitted that he and co-defendant Joe Lee Nichols, 30, of Kansas City, Mo., committed two armed robberies at Kansas City, Mo., hotels on July 14, 2018 – Wood Springs Suites, 11301 Colorado Avenue, and Arrowhead Inn, 6006 E. 31st Street.
Candler also admitted that he and Nichols committed an armed robbery in which a store clerk was killed at Inner City Oil convenience store, 5901 Swope Parkway in Kansas City, Mo., on July 16, 2018.
Video surveillance shows Nichols pointing a handgun at an employee of Inner-City Oil, who resisted and engaged in a struggle for Nichols’s firearm. Nichols fired his gun multiple times before the employee fell to the floor. The employee then retrieved a handgun and began to fire back at Nichols. Nichols began to stomp and kick at the head and body of the employee, who was still lying on the floor. The employee lost his firearm, which was recovered by Candler, who then used it to also shoot the store clerk. When they were unable to access the cash register, Nichols and Candler left the store. The employee can be seen on the surveillance video, still moving while lying on the floor, until eventually becoming motionless when he died from his injuries. A witness who saw their car leaving the area and discovered the body of the employee immediately called 911.
Candler is the sixth and final defendant to be sentenced in this case. Nichols was sentenced on Feb. 22, 2023, to 45 years in federal prison without parole.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen Brackett and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Rhoades. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, and agents and task force officers of the FBI.